Best space pictures for April 2013
The best space pictures of the month according to the magazine Astronet
The sun and the solar flare
This month the Sun that occurred while the most powerful solar flare in 2013, accompanied by a coronal mass ejection (CME), directed towards the Earth. Photo of the event was made in the hard ultraviolet at 7:11 Universal Time Solar Dynamics Observatory on 11 April. Here is a picture painted in artificial colors. The average grade for flash intensity M6.5 occurred in the active region AR 11719, located near the center of the solar disk. As approaching solar maximum solar increasingly dot the surface of the active region, the visible optical range as groups of sunspots. They are surrounded by loops and arches luminous gas following the magnetic field lines.
sky glow counterglow and the Milky Way
At first glance, it was a dark night in the Las Campanas Observatory in the Chilean Atacama desert. However, in this mosaic of images with exposures of 3 minutes, taken around midnight on 11 April, seen unusually bright green atmospheric glow that stretched over the wispy clouds. If aurora observed at high latitudes and emit light due to collisions with charged particles with high energy, the atmospheric glow occurs as a result of chemical reactions - a process called chemiluminescence - and may occur anywhere on the globe. chemical energy source - solar ultraviolet radiation. As aurora atmospheric greenish luminescence occurs at a height of about 100 kilometers, it is dominated by the radiation of excited oxygen atoms. Counterglow - sunlight reflected by dust in the plane of the ecliptic of the solar system, as you could see the night as a faint bluish cloud to the right of center.
A powerful storm on Saturn
It was one of the largest and most long-lived of all hurricanes ever observed in our solar system. First seen in late 2010, this cloud structure in Saturn's northern hemisphere at the very beginning has been the size of Earth, and soon spread around the entire planet. During the hurricane should not only from the ground, up close it was watching the robotic Cassini spacecraft orbiting Saturn. This is an image in infrared light was received in February. It is shown in false color: painted in shades of orange clouds are deep in the atmosphere, while lighter - in the upper layers.
A large spiral M81 and loop Arpa
One of the brightest galaxies in Earth's sky is a large spiral galaxy M81. In size it is similar to our own Milky Way and lies 11.8 million light-years away in the northern constellation Ursa Major. At today's deep photographs clearly visible not only details bright yellow galactic core, but weaker particularly fine bluish spiral arms and dust lanes wide. You may notice a kind of a dim arch extending over the plane of the galactic disk in his right side, a well-known under the name of the loop Arpa. It was studied as early as the 1960s.
One year in the Sun
Sun released into our solar system toxic fumes red-hot plasma, look at today's photos of pretty intimidating. This picture is made up of 25 frames taken in the harsh UV rays of the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory in the period from April 16, 2012 to April 15, 2013. The specific wavelength of light of 171 angstroms radiation shows highly ionized iron atoms in the solar corona, existing at about 600 000 degrees Kelvin (about 1 million degrees fahrenheit). On approaching the maximum 11-year solar cycle active regions decorated bright loops and arches of the magnetic field lines surround the solar surface on both sides of the equator. Of course, more familiar to our eyes the photographs in visible light bright active regions appear as dark spots.
Crescent Neptune and Triton
Flying on the outskirts of the solar system in 1989, the spacecraft Voyager 2 photographed Neptune and Triton together in crescent phase. This image gaseous giant planet and its cloudy moon was obtained immediately after closest approach, with the reverse side of the sun. This image can not be done with the Earth, because it is much closer to the Sun and Neptune is never visible to us as a crescent. The unusual vantage point also robs Neptune of its familiar blue hue, as here there is forward-scattered sunlight that looks reddened like the setting sun.
of NGC 1788 and mustache witch
This demonstrates skyscape orchestration interstellar dust and gas located on the edge of constellation Orion rich nebulae. Speaker bluish "chin" Witch Head Nebula is visible at the top left, it reflects the light of a bright star Rigel, Orion or β. The red glow of hydrogen ionized by ultraviolet starlight, like a mustache, connecting louche vision with young nebulae like the dusty reflection nebula NGC 1788 on the right.
of NGC 3132: Southern Ring Nebula
In the center of NGC 3132 is a planetary nebula very weak asterisk, but not as bright as it might seem. Nebula formed from outer layers of glowing gas Sun Star shell type, called flares or nebula Eight nebula Southern ring. This color photograph shows reprocessed scarlet glow surrounding the dual star system. Gas lights through high-energy radiation faint star. And although the picture of a planetary nebula has been made to study its unusual symmetry, asymmetrical features attracted much more attention.
The Moon and Saturn
In mid-May 2007 Luna moved closer to Venus in the western sky, and a few days later came to Saturn. In the skies over Europe, North Africa and Western Asia, the moon passed directly in front of ringed planet. As the Moon and the planets of the solar system are moving across the sky along the ecliptic about such coatings are rather frequent, but they still are spectacular, especially in the telescope. So, on this clear photograph shows Saturn, emerging from behind the limb of the moon, so it seems that it is just behind the brightly lit corner of our satellite. However, Luna removed 400 thousand kilometers, and Saturn - at 1.4 billion kilometers. The picture was taken with a digital system and 20-inch telescope at the observatory Veykersheym in southern Germany.
the IC 1848: The Soul Nebula
The Soul Queen of Ethiopia are born stars. More precisely, this large star-forming region, called the Soul Nebula, located in the constellation Cassiopeia, which, according to mythology, was the wife of King vain, long ago ruled the land in the upper reaches of the Nile River. Nebula Soul - house multiple star clusters and large radio source known as W5, and huge gas bubbles formed by powerful stellar winds massive stars. Nebula is located about 6500 light-years from us, and its size is about 100 light-years.